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'Things would be different if tourist or white person is shot'- Claude O. Skelton-Cline

- said the Governor & Premier should make security a priority for the sake of the economy, tourism product & especially the locals
Claude O. Skelton-Cline, former Managing Director of BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and social commentator calls for security in the territory to be an immediate priority. Photo: Facebook
His Excellency, Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert (left) and Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance (right) is responsible for security within the territory. Photo: VINO/File
His Excellency, Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert (left) and Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance (right) is responsible for security within the territory. Photo: VINO/File
Trumayne J. Daway aka 'Passion', 26 was found dead in a vehicle at Brandywine Bay, on the main island of Tortola, sometime around 1:00 A.M. on February 28, 2018. The body bore multiple gunshot wounds. Photo: Team of Reporters
Trumayne J. Daway aka 'Passion', 26 was found dead in a vehicle at Brandywine Bay, on the main island of Tortola, sometime around 1:00 A.M. on February 28, 2018. The body bore multiple gunshot wounds. Photo: Team of Reporters
The vehicle that Michael Stevens, 26 and Clevaughn Sweeney, 24 were traveling in before they were brutally murdered on Februay 10, 2018 in the vicinity of Altha Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS). Photo: Team of Reporters
The vehicle that Michael Stevens, 26 and Clevaughn Sweeney, 24 were traveling in before they were brutally murdered on Februay 10, 2018 in the vicinity of Altha Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS). Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - While Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and social commentator commends Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert and Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, for having a joint press conference to address security and crime, he believes that they need to be aware that there is a sense of fear and security should be made an immediate priority.

He was at the time speaking exclusively with our newsroom on what he thought about security and crime.

"I was pleased to finally see them have a joint press conference that concerned itself with the issue of security and the rise in crime in the territory. However, both of them needs to be aware that the country is in a state of anxiety and fear," expressed Mr Skelton-Cline.

The joint press conference was held on Tuesday February 27, 2018 at The Governor's Residence.

Millions not enough to address security

Meanwhile, the social commentator pointed out that the monies being given to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) is "not sufficient" to address the needs of security in the Territory.

He said, "Security involves a complete border patrol where you have to have something similar as the coast guard in the Virgin Islands (US)," while emphasising that issuing statements and holding press conferences will not make persons feel better.

He further mentioned that it is not about blaming the Governor or the Premier but holding them accountable for the portfolio in which they are responsible for.

"They are responsible for the National Security Council. The commissioner reports directly to the Governor and we have to hold them accountable. It’s not simply blaming, it’s simply holding them accountable for the portfolio, for the subject that’s under their portfolio. They should be the ones leading the charge with the police commissioner and with the heads of these departments in ensuring that we live in a safe place," said Mr Skelton-Cline.

"Aggressive & robust" approach to tackle crime

The outspoken Skelton-Cline stated that security needs to be an immediate priority and there has to be an "aggressive and robust" approach in tackling crime in the territory rather than thinking about what to do.

In addition, he pointed out that although there are a number of United Kingdom (UK) investigators in the territory, crime continues to go unsolved.

"This needs to be a priority and the way that we are going to know that it is a priority is that they are putting the resources immediately. It cannot be that they are sitting down thinking about it, still trying to figure it out. There has to be an aggressive and robust approach immediately on the issue of crime," said Mr Skelton-Cline.

Different reaction if stray bullet hits tourist or white person

The former managing director expressed that there would be an uproar if a stray bullet hit a tourist or white person but believes there is a sense of "calm" if it happens to a local person.

"If and when one of these stray bullets hit a tourist, hit a white person, you will see a whole different situation unfold. We have to put it that way and people don’t like when we begin to speak that way but it is the truth of the matter and as long as it is just us that is being affected then there is this calm and this antiseptic approach. We can’t afford to have it happen here for the sake of the economy, tourism product and equally for the sake of locals. We cannot be in the state of fear and trepidation because the people responsible for the issue of security are not doing their job. We have a serious issue in this country in crime and it needs to be immediately addressed," urged Mr Skelton-Cline.

35 Responses to “'Things would be different if tourist or white person is shot'- Claude O. Skelton-Cline”

  • Real (01/03/2018, 08:13) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    wats sad but so tru is these killings are not RANDOM. They are targeted. chk who getting pop. lil wanna b thugs who been doing all kinda s#*t. if de chill less would die REAL TALK. But sad for the country
    • doug (01/03/2018, 20:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      If you are out buying drugs at 2 in the morning then you might expect to be shot at. I am not going there are you?
  • Lawd (01/03/2018, 08:15) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    Not everything is about race! The people just don't want to say who are doing these crimes! That's the problem. Another thing, if a tourist got shot (black or white), are the police suppose to just sit around and do nothing then like you're claiming they're doing now? They know the real pressure will be on their *** and I'm sure those tourists would also be trying to sue so ofcourse it would be different. Don't be a fool.
    • @Lawd (01/03/2018, 09:32) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      You disagreed with Claude and proved his point all in the same breath. THAT'S HIS POINT !!!
      • Lawd (01/03/2018, 12:31) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
        I didn't disagree with him. I disagreed with the direction he was going with the statement. Hence my first statement "Not everything is about race!". You can tell me he's not insinuating that they have slave mentality.
  • rewrsdffds (01/03/2018, 08:17) Like (17) Dislike (23) Reply
    Not a claude fan but he hit this one 100% on the head!
    • Forbidden Truth (01/03/2018, 11:05) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      You do not have to be fan because it neither here or there with him I would imagine, but we all can agree to disagree, agreeably on any issue. I think he is speaking the truth here on this .
  • watcher (01/03/2018, 08:27) Like (23) Dislike (60) Reply
    Racist rubbish.
    • fool (01/03/2018, 09:15) Like (17) Dislike (8) Reply
      It's NOT rubbish! Some people just cannot handle the truth. The reality is people read the news and say "Oh another one dead, yea, he got big gold chains on and a hoodie, must be a local gangsta, I guess it's not surprising he was shot!".... Do you think the response would be the same if a white tourist or resident got shot the same way even if they were dressed the same? Let's not act dumb here! If a white person or tourist is brazenly gun down we would have officers back on the ground from Cayman, Bermuda and elsewhere. The locals are killing each other so no need to protect the other scared individuals and businesses around.
      • really?? (01/03/2018, 10:12) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
        Is this just random shootings taking place?No it's not. Every last one of them know what they did and who they did what too... because of there foolish act 2 innocent lives was taken late last year.. I guess it will take another 2 or 3 of the gang members life before a brave one can come out and speak up... what i will say was after the shooting last year which innocent lives was taken the police should have gone an investigate the rental company and found who was the last renter before the individual who died then just maybe we wouldn't have been with 3 dead youngsters all now because that would have created a lead way into what all is happening now....
    • @watcher (01/03/2018, 09:37) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Maybe racist, but that does not make it false... Racial Profiling may be considered unethical but it works..... Let's stop acting naïve please...I see people shooting down his comments but still turning around and agreeing that the Police would do more because more pressure would be placed on them. That's the point that he's making. Being racist is not the point here.....
  • Truth Hurts (01/03/2018, 08:28) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    That's the same thing I said if it was a different race that was shot, things would have been different. You can see how heartless people are cause not even the death of an innocent CHILD brought about any change or even an outcry from the government. Where are the leaders with real courage???
  • White person (01/03/2018, 08:48) Like (26) Dislike (21) Reply
    Well Sir, not that it matters what color my skin is, but I don't feel calm or antiseptic in the light of recent murders and gun crimes on this Island. I didn't feel calm when a quiet evening at home was interrupted by the pop of bullets in our neighborhood two nights ago. And I didn't feel calm when I saw the news of the killing of another young man, yesterday morning. I felt shocked. And frightened. And sad. Sad for the children of this Country, traumatized by Irma, Maria, and now a wave of brazen, pointless killing. We adults have to do something now. People in "the know" please speak up. And people "in charge" PLEASE get that anonymous "Tips" number working! Seriously.
    • @White Person (01/03/2018, 09:44) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      lol....He never claimed that you should feel calm.... He's just saying that we deserve the same level of urgency that you would get, regardless of what the victim looks like. Not all of us wear gold chains, hoodies, sell drugs or know what's going on. Most of us don't actually. Most of us want this madness to end just like you do. So whether the victim is a thug or a tourist, the urgency should be the same. Quit getting offended by a headline and look at the objective.
      • White person (01/03/2018, 10:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        no need to laugh, and I wasn't offended.
        And your point about "whether the victim is a tourist or a thug, the urgency is the same" is surely the main point. Thank you.
  • ... (01/03/2018, 08:54) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    He IS so right speaker of truth
  • Sawda (01/03/2018, 09:08) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply

    Where there's no Vision..It's a simple solution,bring the God damn Army back in ,it wouldn't cost 5 mil..What are they going to do with that money? Just F it up..Set a Jac#$&$*##s up Town..

  • just wrong (01/03/2018, 09:38) Like (20) Dislike (30) Reply
    People who continually talk about white people and black people just keep driving the separation of the human race forward.
  • Lester d butcher (01/03/2018, 10:25) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    It grieves my heart to read these SAD stories on the news and SADDER comments on the blogs. I do not know what has gone wrong with the youths but it HURTS to know that our black men are DESTROYING themselves . As CJ said on fb"I dont know half of them" but I know many of their parents whom I taught in High School and every one is like family. If its DRUGS ,its SAD because in the 80's and 90's when real stuff was passing thru bvi we didnt have these senseless killings. Those that were involved built / bought property; what are these youngsters investing in ? scooters/cars/boats/ jewelry all of which are gone in flash .Young men , many of you have children , secure some thing for them incase you don't live to come old ; think about your "mothers"hurt ,the sacrifices many made for you to get you to this age ; Do you think you have done enough to pay back / help you mother ? Have you thought about going to church ONE Sunday with your mother ? taking her on a cruise ship for a week ?Come one guys ; STOP the killing ,share some Love /show forgiveness. Be here /there for your child/kids and lets make "tola" safe for every one .
    If you have done wrong ; be a Man and speak to whom you have wronged ; THIRD WORLD said "conversation relieves tension". Leave BALO for who there already and JOHNSON GHUT the old people pleaseeee . YOU CAN MAKE THE CHANGE YOUNG PEOPLE (male / female) " We are in this together" Quoted from JFB
    • To Lester d butcher (01/03/2018, 14:46) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      So are you saying those who are into illegal activities should invest the money they make ?? wow, I guess that makes it alright? SMH
      • me again (01/03/2018, 20:24) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        Are you one of those who “ bury your head in the sand”and pretend its not happening . It is and has been a way of life for many and definetly boosts the economy when the right people handle tfe bizz . This place is a transshippment and will always .be because of its strategic location and porous borders . The young men who killing each other is not who funding / moving Billions of $ worth throught here its ppl with money and connections . Lets encourage the youth to build up NOT break down / destroy .if we are going to talk about right and wrong ; lets start with the Politicans and the Preachers ( listening/ waiting)
    • Geez (02/03/2018, 00:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I really like your comment.: They are not doing a damn useful investment with their money
  • Bohannon (01/03/2018, 10:48) Like (16) Dislike (6) Reply
    If we really want to speak the truth... All white persons who were arrested for crimes here in the Virgin Islands including murder were Released from Prison or never reach prison and are not deported by the Governors Officer, especially white English people. Only one white lad was used as a scape goat and deported by Gov Duncan some time ago, before that none were. This is the darn truth and there is white privilege in this Virgin Islands, ask O. Smith
  • miles (01/03/2018, 10:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    While I find Claude’s statement which seems to inject race insensitive, I agree with most of what he said. We do need an aggressive approach to crime but truth be told no amount of drones will solve the problem. We need increased resources to enable the police to specifically target known drug dealers. The police should have a good idea who they are. If such is the case these hoodlums need to harrassed day and night. Search their homes, they businesses, their cars, show,up where they are know to congregate and do so frequently.
  • Diplomat (01/03/2018, 11:35) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Truth is so painful yet it cause us to bury our heads in the sand like ostrich’s. CSC is talking truth. The general behaviour and attitude in the VI is similar to that in the US. In the US, the drug use epidemic was not a problem until it manifested itself in the White comunity. When it was located in the ghettos, what problem, no big deal. Similarly, when gun violet violence manifested itself in White comunity, it became a crisis. However, when it was a cancer in the Black community, no problem.
    • Online Now (01/03/2018, 12:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I don't think you can really compare the two as the BVI has black leadership. I understand what he is saying but at the moment, the only way for a white person or resident to be involved is in a crossfire. These executions are solely among the black community, sad as this is. We need the leaders of the island to lead and those among us with information to come forward.
      • Diplomat (01/03/2018, 15:06) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
        Physical freedom supposedly was given on 01 August 1834. But too many of us are still mentally enslaved; we suffer from the crabin-bucket syndrome. Willie Lynch mental condition is long lasting still after centuries of supposed freedom. Up and down the Caribbean, the ailment I saw prevalent. Locals put others on pedestals and prefer others over their own. We strangely see others as more worthy than locals. This is true in the BVI, and ghettos and barrioes in the US. What is the old saying: if you are White you are right, if you are brown stick around and if you are black get back. Self hatred rules the roost, regardless of political position. Just keeping real.
  • Observer (01/03/2018, 18:27) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I believe the police know who to target, but are afraid to do their job for fear of retaliation against them or their families. So, no matter how many cameras, drones or information they receive, nothing will be done. It's easier to collect their paycheck and secure their pension. What we need is the military to come in and enforce some order and for British police to come is waves or shifts to help solve some of these crimes and leave while the judicial system does the rest.
  • Hmm (01/03/2018, 19:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Things would be different if tourists were getting shot, not because of race but because the the almighty dollar. The people of the Virgin Islands (both local and expats) get ignored and treated like second class citizens a lot because our government treats us like we’re poor, uneducated and have nothing to say offer to develops the country. We beg and plead for years but nothing gets heard until it affects our gdp. Look at the latest bills to pass in the house. Still no consumer protection and how many bills that affect the finance and tourism sector since the hurricane has been passed? We can’t get people to behave lawfully here and treat people fairly but as long as the tourists come, everything is fine.
  • Wellindeed (02/03/2018, 00:52) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    The race element to this comment makes no sense but just wants to play to some angers imported from the US. He talks like there is white or black, rubbish, what about the billions of people who are other races?

    He talks like white people now are from abroad and blacks are from here. Rubbish. Even the nonwhite Caribbean had many races and mixed race people and many white people are from here too.

    He insinuates that only white people’s lives matter in this community but with no basis for saying that. He perpetuates the ignorance.

    The fact he nearly gets right is when expats or tourists (no matter what they look like) get affected the effect on the economy and on BVI people’s lives and livelihoods will be severe. This is the case even if the gang rubbish and cowardly settling an argument with a gun amongst black Caribbean boys continues. But this community has created the environment for this to happen. These boys have no self respect, no respect for others, for the law, for life. They have no direction. Many will have been abused as children as well. Church leaders are not supposed to be people who take money from congregations for personal wealth and lifestyle, they are supposed to provide moral guidance in the community.

    What do we expect in schools with unqualified teachers and chronic underfunding of education resources for generations? So many kids with no dads, so many kids raped, so many teen pregnancies, a music culture that speaks only to encourage gang culture or treating women like garbage? We have a system of destroying businesses before they get going for a fast buck of to stifle competition for a favour. A system where people cannot get trained and acceptable literate a d customer friendly staff because someone else born here and not qualified fancies the salary - but none of the decades of education and training and sacrifice that lead up to being able to do the job well.

    They manchildren cannot do well where there is no opportunity, no guidance and no self respect or respect for the country.

    Can do better but will we?
  • ausar (02/03/2018, 11:52) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Your comments Claude would be plausible if every crime in this country committed against whites were solved.


    So instead of using race as an impetus for crime solving abilities, let us get about the business of common sense strategies as I see it: tip hotlines, payments for tips leading to arrest, and proper witness protection programs!

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